Methyl Scanning and Revised Binding Mode of 2‑Pralidoxime, an Antidote for Nerve Agent Poisoning
2020-01-10T16:38:39Z (GMT) by
Organophosphorus nerve agents (OPNAs) inhibit acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and, despite the Chemical Weapons Convention arms control treaty, continue to represent a threat to both military personnel and civilians. 2-Pralidoxime (2-PAM) is currently the only therapeutic countermeasure approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for treating OPNA poisoning. However, 2-PAM is not centrally active due to its hydrophilicity and resulting poor blood–brain barrier permeability; hence, these deficiencies warrant the development of more hydrophobic analogs. Specifically, gaps exist in previously published structure activity relationship (SAR) studies for 2-PAM, thereby making it difficult to rationally design novel analogs that are concomitantly more permeable and more efficacious. In this study, we methodically performed a methyl scan on the core pyridinium of 2-PAM to identify ring positions that could tolerate both additional steric bulk and hydrophobicity. Subsequently, SAR-guided molecular docking was used to rationalize hydropathically feasible binding modes for 2-PAM and the reported derivatives. Overall, the data presented herein provide new insights that may facilitate the rational design of more efficacious 2-PAM analogs.